Planning permission has been secured for a large horticultural glasshouse in Lancashire for an ornamental plant business.
Sustaining the Future of the Business
In order to sustain the future of the existing business, our clients needed to establish a new site with good access and facility to provide an efficient working environment for its employees. The existing business operated from one owned site and one rented which was not a long term viable option.
Once a suitable site had been identified, our clients sought advice from the Local Planning Authority regarding their proposal.
A ‘Pre-Application Advice’ application was submitted to the Local Planning Authority in July 2019 regarding the proposed glasshouse. The response was not favourable….
‘The proposal is inappropriate development in the Green Belt and very special circumstances would need to be demonstrated. In addition to this, it is considered that the introduction of large buildings within this landscape would have a detrimental irreversible impact on the landscape character of the area. The proposal is unacceptable and unlikely to receive a favourable recommendation’.
Green Belt Development
Following the above response, Acorus clarified to the Planning Officer that the proposal was for horticultural purposes and therefore considered agricultural development in planning terms. Therefore, such development is not considered inappropriate in the Green Belt.
In terms of the potential impact on the local landscape, the Planning Officer maintained their reservations.
Glasshouses are a familiar sight in the Green Belt and most notably around West Lancashire. With advice from Acorus, our clients decided to proceed with a planning application.
In support of the application, a specialist report was commissioned regarding Landscape and Visual Impact of the proposed glasshouse. A Landscaping scheme was also prepared to provide some mitigation screening of the site to address the concerns of the Planning Officer.
Other specialist reports in terms of Ecology, Flood Risk and Highways Impact were also commissioned.
A full planning application was submitted in December 2020. The glasshouse proposed was of a standard construction and appearance and was designed and laid out to fit within the local landscape. As part of the proposal new hedgerows, a wildlife pond and an area of rough grassland were proposed.
The application was complex and became protracted but in July 2021, the application was finally approved.
Our clients were thrilled with the outcome and Acorus are now dealing with the associated pre-commencement conditions imposed with a view to completing the build in 2022.
The new facility will enable the existing horticultural business to plan for the future along with providing job security for the current employees.